Entries in Unemployment Rate (43)


Unemployment Rate Rises to 7.9% as 157K Jobs Added in January

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers kicked off 2013 by adding 157,000 jobs to their payrolls in January, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.

The figures were slightly worse than had been anticipated by economists, who were expecting to see around 185,000 jobs added last month.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent.  Economists had expected to see that figure drop to 7.7 percent.

The Labor Department also revised its figures for November and December to show that 127,000 more jobs were added in those months.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Unemployment Rate Stays at 7.8% as 155K Jobs Added in December

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs to their payrolls in December, keeping in line with expectations, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.

Economists had anticipated seeing between 150,000 and 160,000 jobs added last month.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained steady at 7.8 percent.  November's unemployment rate was revised up from 7.7 percent to 7.8 percent.

The Labor Department also revised its figures for October down to 137,000 from 138,000, and for November up to 161,000 from 146,000.

In December, jobs were added in the sectors of health care by 45,000, food services and drinking places by 38,000, construction by 30,000 and manufacturing by 25,000.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Labor Market Most Likely Held Up in December, Economists Project

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Economists say employers most likely added jobs in December at roughly the same pace as November, demonstrating that the U.S. labor market held up amidst wrangling in Washington over the fiscal impasse, Bloomberg News reports.

The median forecast of 54 economists surveyed by Bloomberg before Jan. 4 Labor Department figures shows that payrolls rose by 150,000 workers after a 146,000 gain in November. The unemployment rate may have remained at 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008. Faster hiring was inhibited by the possibility of over $600 billion in tax increases and government spending cuts in 2013, the paper says.

Other reports this week that are expected to demonstrate stability in manufacturing and growth in the services industry signal a strong economy, according to Bloomberg.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.7% as 146K Jobs Added in November

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the first monthly jobs report since Election Day, the Labor Department on Friday said U.S. employers added 146,000 jobs to their payrolls in November, exceeding expectations.

Economists had anticipated only around 90,000 jobs to be added last month, mainly due to the destruction of Superstorm Sandy.

The unemployment rate also beat expectations, falling from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent -- the lowest level in four years.  Economists had expected to see the unemployment rate tick up to 8 percent.

One significant finding in the report was that Sandy did not significantly affect jobs.

The Labor Department, meanwhile, dialed back job gains for the previous two months.  In October, the U.S. economy added 138,000 jobs, not the 171,000 reported before the election.  The jobs added in September were also revised downward to 132,000 from 148,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Economy Added 171,000 Jobs in October

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the final monthly jobs report before Election Day, the government on Friday said the U.S. unemployment rate for October ticked up to 7.9 percent.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs, stating that the number of unemployed Americans was essentially unchanged in October at 12.3 million.

"We still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction," said Stephen Bronars, chief economist of Welch Consulting.

Analysts had expected around 125,000 added jobs, according to Bloomberg News.

Bronars said October's jobs report was positive despite the unemployment rate increase, because more people resumed looking for work.  He called the 171,000 jobs added "solid" and noted there were upward revisions to the reports of the past two months.

There were also increases in the employment-to-population ratio, at 58.8 percent, and the labor force participation rate, 63.8 percent, after both of the rates had stalled in the summer, Bronars said.

The unemployment rate for September was 7.8 percent.  In Friday's report, the BLS revised September's non-farm payroll employment to 148,000 jobs added from the previously-announced 114,000.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gallup: Unemployment Rate Now Down to 7.3 Percent

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- There's an October surprise in the making that's out of the hands of either President Obama or GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

A report by Gallup tracking the nation's hiring finds that the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.3 percent in mid-October, or 7.7 percent when seasonally adjusted.

Either way, it seems to give more credence to the September report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that the jobless rate dipped to 7.8 percent that month from 8.2 percent in August.

This could bode well for the Obama campaign -- if the trend continues -- since October's unemployment numbers will be out just four days before Election Day.

Then again, the percentage of part-time workers who would rather work full time was 8.6 percent in September and climbed to 9.0 percent so far this month.

Furthermore, the Romney campaign can point to the fact that just 59 percent of the population has a job, compared to 63 percent in late 2007, with millions having given up looking for work.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wall Street Report: Stocks Close Mostly Lower

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The day on Wall Street saw the Dow down 19 points, the Nasdaq finishing down three points, and the S&P up just a fraction.

The number of Americans who filed first time unemployment claims hit a four-year low last week.  Economists say it's not so much a sign that hiring is up, but that layoffs are slowing.

American Airlines will cut passenger-carrying capacity by one percent for the first half of November, as it tries to recover from widespread delays and cancellations. The carrier says the pullback will give it more time to return to normal operations without affecting holiday travel.

Federal authorities are using taped phone conversations to build criminal cases connected to JP Morgan Chase's $6 billion trading loss. The New York Times says the feds are focused on four people in the company's London office.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jack Welch Claims Jobs Report Suspicions Correct

Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, is doubling down on his tweet last week voicing suspicion that the Obama administration is manipulating U.S. employment data for political advantage.

“Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8 percent unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible.  And that’s why I made a stink about it,” Welch said in an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a near four-year low of 7.8 percent in September, from 8.1 percent in August and 8.3 percent in July, the BLS reported Friday.  Most economists were expecting a slight rise.

“Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch, 76, and a Republican, tweeted minutes after the announcement.

“The Obama campaign and its supporters, including bigwigs like David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, along with several cable TV anchors, would like you to believe that BLS data are handled like the gold in Fort Knox, with gun-carrying guards watching their every move, and highly trained, white-gloved super-agents counting and recounting hourly,” Welch wrote Tuesday.

“Let’s get real.  The unemployment data reported each month are gathered over a one-week period by census workers, by phone in 70 perccent of the cases, and the rest through home visits.  In sum, they try to contact 60,000 households, asking a list of questions and recording the responses," he said.

“The possibility of subjectivity creeping into the process is so pervasive that the BLS’s own 'Handbook of Methods' has a full page explaining the limitations of its data, including how non-sampling errors get made, from 'misinterpretation of the questions' to 'errors made in the estimations of missing data,'” Welch continued.

"Bottom line: To suggest that the input to the BLS data-collection system is precise and bias-free is -- well, let’s just say, overstated,” he added.

Experts told ABC News last week that it’s near impossible for BLS to have manipulated the numbers.  As former Bush White House aide Tony Fratto put it, “BLS is not manipulating data.  Evidence of such would be a scandal of enormous proportions & loss of credibility.”

“I would be very skeptical of any claims the job statistics are manipulated,” Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., told ABC News.  ”If they were, the administration’s record so far in 2012 would undoubtedly look a lot brighter.”

Welch says he’s not sorry for the stir he caused.

“I’m not the first person to question government numbers, and hopefully I won’t be the last.  Take, for example, one of my chief critics in this go-round, Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers.  Back in 2003, Mr. Goolsbee himself, commenting on a Bush-era unemployment figure, wrote in a New York Times op-ed: 'the government has cooked the books,'” he wrote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.8% as 114K Jobs Added in September

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers added 114,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, keeping in line with expectations, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.  

Economists had expected to see around 115,000 jobs added in September.

The government also revised the number of jobs added in July and August to show 86,000 more in those months.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent, marking the first time the figure has fallen below 8 percent since January 2009. 

Economists had expected to see the unemployment rate remain above 8 percent for the 44th straight month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fed 2012 GDP Growth Forecast Worsens; Unemployment Forecast Unchanged

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Among its announcements Thursday was the Fed’s prediction for unemployment, GDP growth and inflation rates.
The Federal Reserve still thinks unemployment won't fall below eight percent this year.  The unemployment rate is currently 8.1 percent.  But the central also says that next year the unemployment rate could fall to 7.6 percent and down to 6.7 percent in 2014.
Inflation, the Fed says, will likely remain at or below two percent for the next three years.
As for GDP, the Fed has changed its previous forecast to expect slower growth this year, but expects a somewhat better situation in coming years.
The Fed now expects growth to be no stronger than two percent this year. That's down from its forecast of 2.4 percent in June.  The Fed says growth will accelerate next year to as much as three percent, up from June's forecast of as much as 2.8 percent. For 2014, the Fed projected growth between three percent and 3.8 percent.
The Fed may be taking into account the effects of its newly announced QE3 on future growth in its new forecasts.  All this being said, predictions are generally risky business, let alone those looking as far out as 2014.
For those looking for further explanation on how QE3 might work:
The Fed wants to get money moving in the economy, which is stuck in many ways.
Until now, the Federal Reserve was buying up Treasury bonds.  This depresses the interest rate available on these bonds and prices of assets like stocks go up.  The hope then is that people find they are worth more (401(k)s go up) and businesses can borrow at lower rates.  People and businesses then spend more, boosting output and hiring.  This has worked to some extent in the past in the other two rounds of easing since the financial crisis began in late 2007.
The Fed has been criticized for buying Treasury bonds to finance the U.S. debt.  So perhaps to avoid that criticism the Fed is now buying mortgage-backed securities.
The intended effect is similar to buying Treasury bonds -- as the Fed says, to “put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.”
Buying mortgage-backed securities could take these off banks’ books, possibly boosting lending and spending. Consumers may find it easier to refinance and buy new homes.  All of these things have a ripple effect on the economy.  As the economy grows, hiring grows.
By saying they may keep doing what they are doing until the ripple effect gets to the job market, the Fed is hoping to provide some certainty to employers and investors.
The gridlock in Washington makes the Fed one of the few entities able to do anything right now to help the economy. Thursday’s action is not expected to do much, but it’s one of the few moves available to policymakers.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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